Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread the love of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.
This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under “Digital Table” here.
This Month Global Tea Hut sent out a Second Tea As This Months Gift. What a surprise! It was very neat to discover that both teas are from the same garden. Then processed as two different teas. This months tea are an Oolong and Red Honey Fragrance Mi Xiang Spring 2014. They are from Ming Jian, Taiwan. Each one had its own distinct coloring to them from their processing. The Oolong being the greenest and the Red tea being, well reddest.
Both teas had their own unique flavor, but similar mouth feel. The red tea was warm, earthy and slightly biscuitty (reminding me of freshly baked bread). The Oolong was a little flowery with a touch of some kind of fruit. While both teas tasted differently, they both made me feel relaxed and centered. The Oolong made my muscles relax, and melted away anything that was troubling me. My mouth was left with the lingering taste of the tea and watering at the thought of having more.
I tried the teas before I had the chance to read any articles. The one that stood out the most this month was “A Movement Towards Sensitivity” by Wu De. He reminded us how tea tasting can be both objective and subjective. At tea tastings it is common that there is a “standard” taste profile and then the personal profile. It is very often that the standard either becomes our own or part of it. We focus so much on finding and defining the tastes by comparing to other things like mushrooms or cinnamon.
The following line is an excellent reminder of what we are forgetting when we stick to this model:
Lu Yu says that you never discern the quality of tea by “merely contemplating its flavor or sniffing its aroma”.
I understand that speaking about this article contradicts my earlier “analysis” of this months tea but I know there are many of us out there that feel the need for these descriptors. Wu De suggests though to add a new dimension to the tasting, mouth feel. How does the tea interact with our mouth? Body? I made sure to include this in my own notes as I agree with Wu De that it can ” create a huge leap in your ability to appreciate tea”. I personally suggest focusing on this feeling first before breaking down and searching for connections in the taste/aroma. Make tea the key player in your tea time.
Focus on only tea
It has been a while since I have had tea outside so after packing up it was time to head out. It was a little noisy around the creek but after a little hunting (and practicing yoga ocassinally) Matt and I found some quiet. We quietly shared a few bowls of tea together of each kind.
When it came to documenting the moment for Tea Journey I was very glad for my yoga practice. I was able to block out the noise of the camera, turn inward and focus on the teas. Every peice of my chaxi helped acheive this.
Keeping it simple I was able to ensure the tea session was more of a meditation than tea tasting. I did not take notes on the teas till much latter. Keeping the focus on the teas I was able to feel it within me and learn more from the tea. Bowl tea is perfect for this. Everything is by touch and eye. No measuring by using a digital scale, no slurping, etc. Everything was simple and focused on the experience.
Having tea outdoors in this method makes it seem like a Japanese Tea Ceremony. The Japanese Tea Room is a special place where one focuses on their practice, slowly opening up and letting the spirit of tea inside them. The same idea is what I brought with me this day. There is no judgement. Only me and tea.
Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:
**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center